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Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences

Dual Degree Engineering Program

Overview: The Dual Degree Program in Engineering is a collaborative program between Towson University and the University of Maryland, College Park’s A. James Clark School of Engineering. It is intended to provide students with a program whereby they can obtain two B.S. degrees in a shorter time than it would take to receive each degree individually. One B.S. degree is from Towson University, while the other is a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Length of Time: The program is flexible and the amount of time it will take to complete the program will depend on several factors, such as the TU major chosen, the engineering discipline at UMCP chosen, and the student’s science and mathematics preparation coming into the program. For most students, it is possible to complete the program in five years (three at TU, two at UMCP). Below is a list of expected time to degrees based on current curriculum requirements and assuming a student begins the program with a proper background:

Typical Towson Major UMCP Engineering Major Years at TU Years at UMCP Total Years
Physics Mechanical 3 2 5
Physics Electrical 3 2 5
Physics Civil 3 2 5
Physics Materials Science      
Physics Aerospace 3 2.5 - 3 5.5 - 6
Physics Fire Protection      
Biology Biological Resources      
Chem/Phys Chemical 3 3 6

What background is needed to complete the program in the time shown in Table 1? It is highly advantageous if students begin the program with a mathematical background which includes algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. These students would then take Calculus I and Intro Physics I their first semester. Students who need to take pre-calculus (MATH 119) their first semester can still complete the program according to Table 1, but it will require a heavier course load in their final year at Towson. Students who do not have the mathematics background needed to take MATH 119 can expect to add 1 – 2 semesters to the above timeline.

Initial Steps: Students interested in this program should first determine the majors which they wish to pursue at Towson University and at UMCP.  It is strongly encouraged that anyone interested the program meet with an academic advisor as early in the program as possible. Dual degree advisors are

Department Name Email Phone Number Room
Physics David Schaefer 410-704-2220 SM 445
Physics Jeffrey Simpson 410-704-4737 SM 457
Chemistry Timothy Brunker 410-704-3118 SM 514F

Major at UMCP – It is advantageous for a student in the dual degree program to know which engineering discipline they wish to pursue at UMCP, however it is not initially necessary. Most of the courses taken at Towson during the first 1-2 years will be the same regardless of engineering discipline. By the end of the second year, however, it will be necessary for the student to decide on their UMCP major in order to ensure that discipline specific courses needed can be taken in their third year. A list of engineering majors available in this program are shown in Table 1.

Major at Towson – Students in the Dual Degree program can major in any discipline they wish. Most students choose a major at Towson which a) reflect their interests and b) has requirements which duplicate those in the engineering program at UMCP. By choosing a major with duplicate requirements, it is possible to minimize the time to complete the program. For example, choosing a major which requires Calculus I is desirable because this is also required by all engineering disciplines at UMCP. Taking MATH 273 (Calculus I) at Towson will then also satisfy the requirement at UMCP. While the program is flexible and allows students to major in any field, most students in the dual degree program major in physics (with some biology and chemistry majors for Biological Resources and Chemical Engineering). Choosing another major, such as Business, is acceptable, but it must be understood that the time to complete the program will be increased.

Note: Students majoring in physics should complete their Change of Major/Minor Form as early in the program as possible. This form is located online at

Fields should be filled out as follows:
                New Field:   PHYS – Physics
                Concentration or Track: Pre-Engineering

While not required, specifying the pre-engineering concentration allows dual degree academic advisors to identify the student as a participant in the program and make sure proper advising occurs.

Details of How the Program Works

Overall Degree Requirements: Towson University and UMCP both have three major requirements which must be completed in order to receive a B.S. degree from their institution:

  1. A student must complete all requirements specified by their major program.
  2. A student must complete all General Education (CORE) requirements.
  3.  A student must complete 120 total credits of course work.

A detailed description of graduation requirements can be found at

Towson Degree – The program is designed so that students complete requirements 1 and 2 during their time at Towson University. Typically this amounts to  ~99 credits of course work. To complete this in three years requires ~ 16-17 credits of coursework per semester. Example schedules can be found here. The last requirement to obtain the Towson degree is 120 total credits. After their third year, students will need roughly 20 credits to reach this value. These are elective credits. After the third year at Towson, the student will transfer to UMCP and take 12-15 credits of engineering course per semester. After their first year at UMCP (fourth in the program), the student will then accumulate and transfer back to Towson the necessary course credits to satisfy requirement 3. At this point the student has satisfied all of Towson’s requirements and can apply for graduation and obtain his/her degree. So the Towson B.S. degree is typically obtained in four years.

UMCP Degree – The introductory courses which students would have taken during their first two years at UMCP will, essentially, be done at Towson. So when the student transfers down to UMCP, they will have completed a significant amount of freshman/sophomore level courses. Additionally, the general education courses from Towson will transfer as a package to UMCP. Thus, satisfying Towson General Education requirement will automatically satisfying UMCP’s General Education requirements. Therefore, in their fourth and fifth years of the program, students only need to take engineering courses necessary to satisfy requirement 1. Once completed, all three requirements to graduate will be satisfied and the student receives his/her degree from UMCP.

Therefore, the timeline is: Towson degree after 4th year. UMCP degree after the 5th year.



Department of Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences
Smith Hall, Room 445 (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 410-704-3020
Fax: 410-704-3511






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